A Garden is a Grand Teacher – making of:

The final version of the May assignment for MATS Bootcamp using the suggested roses, a quote from Gertrud Jekyll and the given trend colours.

Journal/notebook mock up and partial design close-up.

Journal/notebook and more in this design available in my Society6 store here (lined and blank paper options)

The first design: line work scanned from inkpen on paper and edited in Photoshop

Before we were given a mood board with a suggested trend colour palette, our initial assignment was to play with and study roses in as much detail as possible (see previous post: In the Name of Roses).

For the mini assignment, the main working colour was still pink. That is why my first colour experiment was with pink.

First completed journal/notebook design.

But with the mood board, this changed drastically, as the colours were darker, bolder, and more adventurous. In the beginning, I hesitated to follow my first hunch to use the nearly black colour as background and opted first for the greyish-blue:

But the next day, upon looking at it again, I just felt that it was too flat for my taste and tried the nearly black background, which is the one I ended up posting to the online gallery, too.

But looking at all three colours, I find they all work well in their own way. I guess, colour choice can depend a lot on current colour trends and then on personal likes and dislikes.

The final design with no quote:

Notebook/journal design, no quote

I’ve noticed that colour trends can inspire me to try new colour combinations I might not have considered.

With clothes, I know the colours that suit me well. All the powdery colours make me look like an old chewing gum that was stuck under a table ages ago.

I like stronger, brighter colour on me like grass green and a juicy yellow. The non-colours black and white go well, too. Brown, depends. I’ll always run away from grey.

As far as blue is concerned, I’ve become overly saturated with it as blue has become too uniform and corporate for me. At one point, I suddenly noticed, I had mainly blue clothes and an occasional red, white or black something to combine it with. Kind of as if I’d been affiliated with Tommy Hilfiger, which I’m not. That is why I think the blue journal design just did not work for me.

Also, I do not wear flower prints. I do not decorate my place with flower prints, either. I hardly illustrate or paint flowers.

initial pencil sketch, scanned and edited in Photoshop

So, drawing roses turned out to be a challenge. I feel, for not being a very ‘flowery’ kind of person,Β  I’ve managed to find just the right amount of flowers I can handle in this design (I will put a flower in my hair if I find a nice one that fell off a tree, though. Flowers on a balcony and garden, lovely, too. A bunch of flowers for inside the home, also: fine).

wild rose sketched, scanned, photohopped

I think, if I were to design patterns with flowers, I’d go more abstract with the flower design with bolder shapes and colours and then soften it with line work as in the yogini’s hair. Then, I may even consider wearing a flower pattern.

This is what MATS Bootcamp is doing to me. I am suddenly thinking of design, patterns, textiles, fabrics and clothes. It’s been a while since I had these thoughts…

As for the next MATS Bootcamp assignment: next Monday we will get our June mini assignment. Can’t wait.


Until we meet next: have a lovely weekend!


 

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In the Name of Roses

Hi there!

How is life treating you lately? I hope all is well on your side of the world.

Today was a really dreary and cold day. The kind of day where all I’d want to do is stay in bed with a hot cuppa chai or a hot almond cinnamon chocolate drink and a good book.

But there were enough tasks to do, and so I got out of bed, took a hot shower, did my daily yoga and meditation and was off to work.

 

Appreciating the small things in life: roses. Digital sketch made with Ps and Ai.

 

One thing I got done today was to colour in my roses sketch I did on the weekend as part of the MATS Bootcamp roses study.

Roses are really tricky to draw. It’s like you see something and then when you put it down on paper, that what you had in mind looks nothing like what you executed on paper!

So, I tried again, and again, and again… until, after many failed attempts, I kind of got the hang of it. Or let’s say, I am not as intimidated by drawing them anymore.

In the following are the results of my weekend rose exercise sketches I dare to share:

Wild Roses: Pencil and black ink pen

 

Rosa Bourboniana: Pencil and black ink pen

 

And finally, the above shown digital sketch in pencil and black ink pen straight from my sketchbook. I made this one as a compilation of my rose exercise:

Appreciating the small things in life: roses!

 

I think this weekend and for the moment, wild roses turned out to be my favourite roses.

Not just because they are relatively simple to draw; because they are. But, their simple shape and pink colour tossed around haphazardly in a juicy green bush is so beautifully chaotic and charming. A bit like an abstract painting.

I guess it’s kind of in my nature as a Sagittarius to like all things wild. πŸ˜‰

The other thing I noticed is, I must have quite a vivid imagination because while sketching, drawing, inking and working digitally on all roses, I had the feeling I could actually make out the scent of the roses as if I were sniffling in a bunch of roses as depicted in the above sketch.

Now where many artists and designers participating in MATS Bootcamp mentioned having had this on their mind ‘Roses are red, violets…’, I couldn’t help having the song: ‘I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden,…’ on my mind.

After a while, it felt a bit like a broken record, I must admit, and I am glad that I was able to knock it out of my mind.

But as for roses, what more can I say than: they are simply beautiful.


May your week be beautiful!


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Time

Doing a little writing challenge and combining it with my daily sketch for 60 days.

I’ll be writing everyday at least 500 words (unedited) for 31 days. Both challenges are intended for the extra exercise and routine.

Of course I am also wishing to create engaging content for you, too. But please forgive me if I’m just rambling on.

As for today, it marks the third day of my daily sketch and the second day of the writing challenge.

conceptoftime
Time: gouache and gold ink; daily sketch day 3/60

 

I did not intend to paint clocks. And, had I realised what a terribly complex topic writing about the concept of time would turn out to be, I would have painted some simple blotches to which I could have wrote just anything! But I stuck it through, for better of for worse. Tomorrow I’ll need to come up with something simpler to write about. πŸ˜‰


Time (31 day writing challenge 2/31)

The last couple of years, I’ve had a feeling that time is passing really fast. And I mean, really fast! 2016 felt not different. Is time flying by? Or am I flying with time?

Accepting age as a factor for a fast time perception alone does not satisfy me at all. I really dislike when people blame β€˜whatever’ on age. But I’ll give the age argument a fair chance and contemplate its influence on my personal time perception:

Let me travel back to when I was a toddler. I barely remember anything in the first couple of years of my life. Or let’s phrase it differently; I’ve go no memory of time related sensations. I’m guessing, as a child, I still did not have enough awareness to add the time factor into the experiences I was making. Early on in life, my only concern was to quench my thirst or hunger, poop, rest or explore this strange new place I found myself in and be as cute as possible to make sure the ones feeding me (my parents – a concept I did not understand in the beginning of my existence) will continue with keeping me warm, dry and well fed.

Around the age of three and four, memories started to kick in and got archived. Gradually there were more things to remember and more things to look forward to. A great experience wished to be repeated and not so great ones, well, avoided. And before I even realised it happening, I was stuck in either past memories (good or bad) or dreaming or fearing the future, disassociating myself from the present.

I feel that my ability as a child to be more in the present did not stem from my age as such, but from my disinterest in the past and the future and an in-the-moment concentration on what I was experiencing. The more I grew into the time concept of past and future, the more I was jolted out of the β€˜timeless’ experience of the now into a decelerated perception of my passing days and existence.

As I grew older troubles and worries derived from challenging circumstances made life harder. Worries in particular are like chains that couple past traumas with future angst. It’s like an endless loop in coding or a dog chasing its tale. There is no clear beginning nor visible end to worries. Looking back I can say that worries decelerated my time perception massively.

Until, well, because I set upon a path to consciously return to the present moment, which in my case would be by means of yoga and meditation I was able to break out of the endless loop and feeling of stagnation.

Time can pass quickly when we are engaged in something we enjoy, but it can also pass quickly while we are engaged in so much β€˜doing’ that we miss out on the β€˜being’, which in my opinion is also a lesser than desirable state of being. There needs to be a balance of movement and stillness within time.

Thinking about it, from a happy person’s perspective life will not seem much longer than a blink of an eye. For a person who is suffering, life is an endless endurance and time seemingly stands still.

The thing is, circumstances cannot necessarily be influenced directly or even changed. Life will always bring its fair share of challenging situations. There will always be things do that I do not enjoy so much. But, whatever the circumstance, I can always decide to be happy and engage in life with utmost awareness and aliveness to make the best of the present moment and fly with time.

Time should not just fly by nor should it stand still. We should fly with time and make best use of it.

 


For now, I just want to fall into bed!

Good night and sweet dreams.


Advent Day 24: Prayer for Peace

For the last day of Advent a quick illustration:

A prayer for peace
A prayer for peace

 

This one was inspired by the rather contemplative and introspective mood I’ve been carrying around with me all day.

I also feel the urge to retreat, light candles (nope, I do not have a Christmas tree, because I feel sorry for the trees [no judgement – it’s just another ‘thing’ of mine πŸ˜‰ ] ), do yoga, pranayama and meditate.

I wish to express my gratitude on this day for being loved, safe, warm and sound.

So, for this evening, I’m keeping it short and wishing you all a very


MERRY CHRISTMAS!

May all beings in all the worlds be peaceful and happy.


 

 

 

Advent Day 11: One with the Sea

For the 11th day of the Advent: I am One with the Sea.

I am One with the Sea
I am One with the Sea: made with Photoshop using Kyle T. Webster brushes

My muses are still on strike.

So, I thought I’d use this opportunity to finish off the unfinished.

I decided to complete the SeaBlue #colour_collective illustration from two weeks back for today’s Advent day 11.

With the Advent season upon us, I’ve been postponing the final touches to it and focused more on Winter and Christmas themed illustrations.

But, I am glad I completed this one now.

Working may way through the lines, hair and waves was a such a meditative process.

Quite the contrary to how I felt after yesterday’s illustration, which left me with stiff shoulders, a stiff neck and an everything but satisfied me.

But after working on ‘I am One with the Sea’, I feel relaxed, at peace and ready to welcome the new week.

Just the right way to end what was a pretty task filled week.

Well, that and a cup of Tulsi Tea! Cheers!

For tomorrow, I am planning on sharing my most simple ever version of a gluten-free, vegan Chocolate Cake recipe, or as I also call it gluten-free, vegan Chocolate Flat Bread. It is so simple (even kids can bake this one) and it is a delicious sweet snack for in between meals. If you love Chocolcate, than stay on the look-out for tomorrow’s Advent day 12 post.

 


Hope you had or are still having a lovely weekend.

And, wishing you all a great week ahead!


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Advent Day 10: Decorating the Christmas tree

Decorating the Christmas tree
Decorating the Christmas tree

I think the upcoming Supermoon is getting the best of me. Or all my muses went on holidays without notice.

I’ve been experimenting around on my Wacom in Photoshop trying to come up with THE idea for today’s advent illustration.

You know, ‘THE’ idea. The little masterpiece of masterpieces.

But regardless how much I dug into the creative soup of my inner something, I remained utterly uninspired.

Not even experimenting with various Photoshop tools helped… so, I’m calling it a day and share with you ‘that’ what ‘happened’.

I do not feel ‘that’ it was worth the stiff neck and aching shoulders.

But, it is what it is and, as the French would say: c’est la vie.

I’m off to do some relaxing yoga postures and then straight to bed, tomorrow is another day.


Namaste, Aloha, So Much Love


Waves update

Work is still in progress:

seablue_ccweb2
Waves (work in progress): Created with Photoshop

Digital Work

Although I’d love to continue, my left hand and shoulder are aching and I am forced to stop. 😦

I do find that drawing on screen is more tedious than drawing on paper or canvas.

I noticed that my eyes and my body get quicker tired.

My neck, shoulders and working hand are more likely to stiffen.

Nonetheless, I do love working digitally.

To solve the body-aching problem, I guess the best strategy is to divide working-on-screen time into smaller chunks and to make physical activity and long-distance gazing a part of the creative process.

Lifestyle Balance

You know, sometimes, I wished this body could just go on 24/7, especially when I am struck by a creative flow (which is very often) and I always risk wearing myself out.

But the body and mind need (healthy) food, exercise, fresh air, (for me also) mediation and yoga on a regular basis, and last but not least: rest.

2017 Resolution

Hey, I may just have figured out my New Year’s resolution for 2017!

Create a more balanced lifestyle.

I will ponder this resolution in the upcoming weeks leading to 2017 and work out the details.

A good start to ensure success could be: sketching out a daily routine where not only projects, tasks and goals to be met but also times for leisure activities, recreation and rejuvenation are listed.

A Need for Improvement

Definitely a personal ‘party pooper’: slacking off on my meditation and regular yoga practices, as well as on my outdoor activities in favour of goals I wish to meet and tasks I feel that need to be done.

But, no matter how much I may be aware of what is best for me and how much I try to improve my lifestyle habits, chances are that I will fall back into old habits.

In such cases, I believe it is important to practice patience with myself, improve strategy and retry.

Set-backs should not be used as an excuse to not try again. We should always try again.

Epilogue

Looking at this illustration, I believe it may have manifested to serve as a prologue, as inspiration for an inner dialogue regarding the desired ‘me’ in 2017.

A dialogue that will serve as a personal blueprint for 2017.


Hope you are enjoying your weekend!


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Waves (work in progress)

This evening’s #colour_collective colour Sea Blue inspired a calm, breezy and peaceful illustration (or at least a beginning of it):

seablue_cc.jpg

I underestimated the time it would take to complete, so I did not accomplish finishing it in time for this evening’s #colour_collective.

However, now I am tired and my hand is not relaxed anymore, so the lines are becoming edgy.

Tomorrow is another day, one just cannot (and shouldn’t) rush line work.

I’ll be posting a follow up of the final illustration this weekend.

And speaking of weekend:


May you enjoy a peaceful one!


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